Jul 122013

Craig Giesecke

Mymymy.  Last week’s column kicked up a lot of dust, as I criticized what I see as the shrinking creativity of the New Orleans restaurant scene and many jumped to its defense. I stand by my opinion, but the fact I have one does not make me right. It’s an opinion and it’s good to see so many take issue. Thanks for reading and responding.

One reader made the observation I need to go out to eat more often and I certainly agree. But, as mentioned in a previous column, this is tough for us to afford these days. Perhaps the summer’s advent of various fixed-price meals will make this a more available option. I hope so. Continue reading »

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Jul 122013

A defense witness called in the trial of former Tulane football player Trent Mackey said he pointed the finger at Mackey after police told him Mackey had already thrown him under the bus.

Mackey, 23, has been charged with armed robbery with a firearm and criminal conspiracy to armed robbery. The charges stem from a July 12, 2012, robbery that the defense says was poorly investigated and pegged on Mackey, while prosecutors have argued that Mackey orchestrated. Continue reading »

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Jul 112013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

State Senator Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, has been in the Louisiana Legislature for 22 years and says he thinks that Governor Bobby Jindal’s regime has been “a terrible disappointment, especially for the medically indigent and the state’s public education system from kindergarten to the graduate departments of our universities.”

Louisiana’s best hope, he says, is that the 2015 Governor’s race will produce a chief executive for the state who will undo the damage that the Jindal Administration has inflicted on public medical institutions and public education. Continue reading »

Jul 112013

Detectives interview Tulane linebacker Trent Mackey (seen behind the investigator on the right) at the scene of a July 12 home invasion on Broadway. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

One year ago, Megan Wales was still a 20-year-old Tulane student and a friend and co-worker of Tulane football standout Trent Mackey when a drug deal between them was interrupted by two intruders who burst into her apartment, pinned her to the kitchen floor with a gun to her head and dramatically altered the course of all their lives.

Police have since charged Mackey in the robbery as well, and prosecutors this week are describing him as a co-conspirator to the gunmen, an accomplice in touch with them minutes before who conveniently left Wales’ apartment door open allowing the men to rush in. Mackey’s defense lawyers, however, say the Tulane football star is the victim of an inadequate investigation focused solely on bagging a high-profile conviction, and that Wales was just as complicit in the events of the day and web of lies afterward as Mackey was. Continue reading »

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Jul 112013

The auction’s expected top lot is this Chinese Qianlong jade censer, executed circa 1736-1795 (est. $15,000-$25,000).

An 18th century Chinese Qianlong celadon jade censer with a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000, items from the living estate of iconic New Orleans artist and photographer George Valentine Dureau (b. 1930), and an untitled glazed ceramic sculpture by Lynda Benglis (Am., b. 1941) are all part of a huge weekend auction planned for July 13-14.

The auction will be conducted by Crescent City Auction Gallery, in the firm’s gallery located at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Start times both days will be 10 a.m. (CST). Over 1,200 lots will be offered, to include fine art, antique clocks, Chinese objects, Persian rugs, period American and European furniture, antique lamps and lighting and decorative accessories. Continue reading »

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Jul 102013

Edward Green (via NOPD)

A trail of calls from a cell phone stolen during Friday’s robbery of four people hanging out on the back porch of a Coliseum Street home has led police to a suspect, and they are now seeking the public’s help in finding them, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Jul 102013

On the downtown side of Samuel Square, where Loyola once crossed Napoleon, the dream of a dead end street is temporarily realized in July 2013. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Once upon a time with my wife and two wee daughters we used to live in a li’l ol’ shotgun in the Riverbend.  We absolutely loved that house, but after the birth of our second child, 1200 sq ft was no longer so quaint or enjoyable.  Too, where we were on the 800 block of Dublin often served as overflow parking for area retail, but worse, the density didn’t always bring the best drivers.  Some days people would whip around the corner off Maple like they were in hot pursuit.  And when you have toddlers and newborns you begin to see traffic and safety in a whole new way.  It was at this point I began to wonder about the pros and cons of living on a dead end street. Continue reading »

Jul 102013

A memorial to Officer Rodney Thomas, who was killed Sunday in a hit-and-run crash, stands in front of the Second District station on Magazine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Officers wear black bands over their badges in mourning for Officer Rodney Thomas. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

On Sunday, NOPD Commander Paul Noel went to roll call to tell the Second District dayshift that their fellow officer, Rodney Thomas, wouldn’t be returning to work, that Thomas had been struck and killed in a hit-and-run on the interstate high-rise the night before.

It wasn’t just the hardest moment of his career as a police officer, Noel said. It was the most difficult task he’s ever faced in his life.

“Hopefully I never have to do this again, as long as I live,” Noel said. Continue reading »

Jul 092013

The building that housed Pippen Lane (photographed in March 2011 by Google Maps) is slated for redevelopment as a two-story location of national retailer West Elm.

Cornelius Payne proposes a coffee shop for the 800 block of Jackson Avenue before the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Two redevelopments on major thoroughfares around the Garden District — an upscale national furniture retailer on Magazine, and a new location of a local coffee shop on Jackson Avenue — both won initial approval Tuesday from the City Planning Commission. Continue reading »

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Jul 092013

The white Ford Focus pictured was stolen in a carjacking Sunday evening, authorities say. (photo via NOPD)

After a man was attacked by two strangers who stole his keys and then his car about a block off St. Charles Avenue on Sunday evening, police are seeking the public’s help in finding the vehicle, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Jul 092013

jewel bush

I was startled to see a self-addressed envelope arrive in my mailbox over the weekend.

Back in January, I wrote a letter to myself as part of a New Year ritual with my writers group. Jamey Hatley, a Memphis transplant and gifted wordsmith, leads what has become a literary sacrament for the MelaNated Writers Collective. We write handwritten notes to ourselves, seal them and then hand them over to her for safekeeping. It’s an individual exercise that we do together. Some MWC members jot down encouraging words or scribble stern reminders to adhere to writing regimens while others list publishing goals. No one reads your letter and you are free to use the paper – space – however you choose. Continue reading »

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Jul 092013

George Dureau (Photo by Jason Kruppa)

Local artist and icon George Dureau is a definitive New Orleans talent who has given much to the people and the city he loves over the years. Now his fans can return the favor.

The 82-year-old painter, sculptor and photographer spends his days in a nursing home due to the ruthless effects of Alzheimer’s. He’s being well cared for, but long-term financial support is a concern. That’s why close friend Katie Nachod and other acquaintances, who fondly call themselves “Friends of George,” have planned a fundraising event for Dureau. Continue reading »

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